04/08/08 - 1 year later
On August 4, 2008, the headquarters of the North-Caucasian military district forces, moved the units of the region to the state border between Russia and Georgia, and located them in the area of Nizhny Zaramag, in order to “transport troops and assist the peacekeeping forces in South Ossetia, in limited time”. The same day, medical units and sub-units of the 58th army arrived to South Ossetia, and 11 automotive howitzers “Gvazdika” were transported from Dzhava to Tskhinvali. According to Georgian sources, the number of units of the regular Russian forces in South Ossetia reached 1200 soldiers. Military aircrafts of airborne warning and control system “AWACS”, arrived to Mozdok airbase, while several TU-22M3 heavy bombers were redeployed from their constant place of dislocation in Novgorod to Saratov Region.
Together with intensive military preparations, gear of propagandistic war started in full scale. On August 3, 2008, South Ossetian state committee of information and press published an article with a headline “If there will be war tomorrow…”, where it was assumed, that the warfare will start any day. News agency “Osinform” placed the following articles “South Ossetia is preparing to war”, “Russia sees a threat of war between Georgia and South Ossetia”, “Chronicles of undeclared war”. Early in the morning of August 4, 2008, a blog of propagandistic support to the starting war “Golos dushi (Voice of Soul)” started operation. Its first entry was stating, that innocent civilians evacuated on August 2, were sent to North Ossetia, “where they will wait till the emerged situation is over”. The English version of the blog under the name of Vice of Soul started operation from the night of August 6-7, 2008. On August 4, the Nezavisimaya Gazeta (Independent Newspaper) published an article, with a headline “Delayed war”. Radio of South Ossetia confidently announced, “War can start tomorrow”. Russian deputy Konstantin Zatulin claimed to conduct immediately “an operation of compulsion to peace”. In Sukhumi Sergei Bagapsh stated that, if there would be war, Abkhazia “will not stand aside”. On the following day, a posting “in expectation of war” was placed on “Golos dushi (Voice of Soul)” blog.